Let's talk Circular Economy

2020 marked a radical starting point when it comes to change for the fashion industry. It made us all realize how crucial it is to be good for our planet and how much sustainability and circularity are important.
But we´re not quite there yet. It is imperative that companies start embedding sustainable practices in their business strategies, especially in such a pollutant sector that is the fashion industry. The reason behind this is because of its long supply chain, intensive production, and need for a lot of liters of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton.
A few statistics:

  • 85% of textiles go into landfills each year.
  • Only less than 1% of the materials used in clothing production are recycled.
  • 500.000 microfibers go into the ocean each year. This is the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
  • 93 billion meters of water are used annually in textile production.

What is circular economy and why is it so important?
The concept of circular economy was born in 2014 and has rapidly become one of the most embraced concepts when it comes to a more sustainable fashion world. This term is related to a no waste and pollution rule, where products and materials are used and reused. The concept of circular fashion can sometimes lead to confusion due to being an innovative and recent one. However, it is crucial that we define it and not just make it a buzzword or the next cool thing to say.
When it comes to implementing a circular economy, it´s all about getting rid of the model of take, make and dispose to give place to a more eco-friendly one that has into perspective the impact business production can have. We must maximize our resources by starting with simple and daily practices to reach zero impact in the long run.
The solution of recirculating products and giving them another life has proven to be the best and easiest one to reduce environmental impact. Can you imagine how much water it takes to produce a pair of jeans? 2,000 gallons of water – that´s eight cups a day for the next 10 years. We must start looking after our planet. To do so, it´s not only necessary to reduce carbon emissions and waste but also start in the product design and infrastructure. Being innovative while preserving our footprint is the way to start.

Scource: Tetribérica 2021

Digitization
Circular economy is all about waste reinvention. With the help of technologies, it is now possible to turn waste into textiles so that everything we thought had no longer use, can be reused and transformed into new yarn.
To make fashion a lot more circular, digitization is the key. It enables traceability and transparency to guarantee a more sustainable ecosystem for our planet and our business.
Being able to trace a product from beginning to end, optimizes the resources we have and facilitates the way we use and reuse our materials. Traceability provides companies the opportunity to be in control of their product´s carbon footprints.

Why is the digitization of products so important? Simple - they renovate the industry.
How? They measure the performance of the whole product life cycle. Hence why, manufacturers, brands and retailers should start with this step to become circular.

Scources:
https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept - Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
https://docsend.com/view/63avn4jc3ztb952w - Year zero - circular fashion report 2020.
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/green-growth/index_en.htm - European Comission - Green growth and circular economy.

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